Police Officer Brandon Fleming was recently filled with sadness after helping with what he described as a “heartbreaking call” when a little girl stepped into his life and changed everything.
Fleming, of the South Hill Police Department in South Hill, Virginia, wrote an Instagram post explaining that he was somberly walking to his car after dealing with the depressing call when 4-year-old Nariah broke through the silence.
“Hi, Mr. Officer!” she proclaimed.
The cop, clearly deep in his thoughts, said that he was surprised to see the little girl standing nearby with her mom, and he instantaneously took note of her joyfulness, WTVR-TV reported.
“I was taken aback by her joyful nature and I attempt to greet her with as much jubilation as she did with me,” he explained. “I asked how she was and she informed me that she was great that day and that it was her birthday.”
So while finishing up assisting with a heartbreaking call the other day I found myself sadly walking to my car alone in my thoughts. Out of no where I hear the sweetest little voice greeting me " Hi Mr Officer!!! and I turn to find this lovely young lady walking with her mom. I was taken aback by her joyful nature and I attempt to greet her with as much jubilation as she did with me. I asked how she was and she informed me that she was great that day and that it was her birthday. I inquired into her age (she told me she was 4 years old ) and told her that she was very well spoken for someone so young. Then my day, my week, my choice of profession was made. She asked out of nowhere "Can I have a hug for my birthday??" I ran as fast as I could to her as she did to me and grabbed her and received the most genuine of hugs ever. She asked if I had a sticker badge she could have and while I searched my car for what I thought I had, I was unable to locate one. Immediately I asked her mother for her address and was pleasantly surprised when little Miss Neriah told me her own address and spelled out her name for me to write down. I asked about her favorite things & I told her that I would find her later that day & bring her a birthday present since I couldn't find her a police badge. After a couple of days of knocking on her door (no one was home during these times) I finally tracked down the little angel that turned my day around and brought her some presents for her birthday. This right here people is why I do the job I do. For MY community. For EVERYONE'S children. For the betterment of US all. If someone so small can show such a great deal of love and compassion to me, a complete stranger, then why can't we all do the same for one another? We sometimes forget how great and innocent a youthful mind can be and how wonderful and beautiful their perception of this world truly is. Thank you Neriah…. For lifting the veil of clouds and showing me the true nature of things, For giving me hope that all is not lost in this world, For allowing me to be loved and cared for by my community, For showing your bright spirit to me, and for making me just happy.
Then, Nariah asked a question that melted Fleming’s heart — and absolutely made his career: “Can I have a hug for my birthday?” Considering the horrible day the officer had, he wasted no time in obliging.
“I ran as fast as I could to her as she did to me and grabbed her and received the most genuine of hugs ever,” Fleming wrote. “She asked if I had a sticker badge she could have and while I searched my car for what I thought I had, I was unable to locate one.”
So, Fleming asked Nariah’s mom for the family’s address and promised to find her later in the day and deliver a birthday gift to her. While no one was home the first few times he went to the house, the cop did eventually track Noriah down, bringing her some presents for her special day.
In the end, though, it seems Noriah offered up the best gift of all: perspective.
“This right here people is why I do the job I do. For MY community. For EVERYONE’S children. For the betterment of US all,” Fleming wrote. “If someone so small can show such a great deal of love and compassion to me, a complete stranger, then why can’t we all do the same for one another?”
It’s a pointed message for us all that comes at a divisive and troubling time in our culture.